Cairngorm Capital has made a further move into the UK doors market with the acquisition of timber fire safety and security doorset manufacturer E & S W Knowles & Co via its existing portfolio company Sentry Doors.

This acquisition adds new products that complement Sentry Doors’ established product range, focused on the specialist fire doorset requirements of the social housing, public sector, commercial and residential markets.

£10million-sales Knowles, due to see its centenary next year, manufactures timber internal doorsets with fire rated, acoustic and PAS 24 security certification, operating nationally from a 50,000sqft facility in Birmingham. 

The enlarged business continues to be headquartered in Doncaster, where Sentry operates from two sites. Steve Horner, Knowles’ managing director, will join Sentry’s senior management team, working with Ty Aziz, Sentry’s chief executive.

Cairngorm, which acquired Sentry in 2019, also owns a number of other building and construction interests, including Teesside-based door manufacturer Cotswold Manufacturing via its portfolio company National Timber Group.

Ty Aziz said of the Knowles acquisition: “This partnership will help us to respond to the surge in demand for our products, as well as providing our customers with a fully comprehensive range of fire safety and security solutions, and a greater choice of features and finishes. It marks a key milestone in the growth strategy for our businesses and advances our collective ambition to be UK leaders in this sector.”

Martin Wright, majority owner of Knowles, added, “Next year Knowles celebrates its centenary and while I am extremely proud of all that we have achieved in the last 99 years, I know that the company has the capability to achieve much more in the future. I believe that this is the natural point for me to pass the company to new, trusted custodians who can deliver on its future potential. Knowles has a perfect partner in Sentry and together, the companies should achieve great things.”

Cairngorm Capital and Sentry were advised on this transaction by Grant Thornton (financial and tax), Drystone Strategy (commercial), Addleshaw Goddard (legal) and Thompson & Richardson (insurance). Knowles’ shareholders were advised by MHA MacIntyre Hudson (financial and tax) and Fladgate (legal).

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